words Monthly Archives: April 2014

Professor William Newell retires soon

By Hope Fitz

Professor William Newell is leaving us for a new phase of his life. We will miss him but we wish him well in his future endeavors and the many books which he plans to write.

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Student Matt Hicks reflects on the future of conservatism after his attendance at CPAC 2014

By Matt Hicks
Senior at Eastern Connecticut State University
Political Science Major and History and Pre-Law Minors

Republicans looking for a fresh start, hope for a future in fiscal conservatism

This was my third straight year attending the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). I have had the honor of travelling to D.C. with the Eastern Conservative-Libertarians club since my freshman year. Through those three years I have noticed a transition amongst the attendees of CPAC, never so strongly as this year, however. This year it was clear that libertarianism was in the air. After quickly dismissing the initial thought that the Potomac River was at fault for this “crazy” atmosphere, I realized that the interests of the attendees had changed drastically. Panel discussions were centered around issues such as: the legalization of marijuana, the role of conservative females in the workforce, and the government’s role in the educational system amongst many others. It seemed that the crux of every panel came down to economic consequences. Speakers such as Rick Perry refrained from the normal onslaught of President Obama’s leadership but rather focused the majority of his efforts on the economic successes that Texas has seen; suggesting a similar fiscal model for the nation as a whole. Whether Mr. Perry ‘s argument was feasible is not the take away, rather what I took away from his speech, and from the conference as a whole is that the Republican party seems to be heading in a new direction: toward a libertarian focus. This focus was highlighted by Rand Paul dominating the straw poll, receiving 31% of the votes when attendees were asked who they’d prefer as the next presidential candidate from the Republican Party. In a distant second was Ted Cruz, with 11%. That means that 42% of the crowd favored a candidate associated with libertarian values, over other candidates such as Marco Rubio or Chris Christie. My first thought was this was just a jerk reaction to recent appeals made by these two rising stars, but upon further consideration it appears clear that libertarianism is here to stay. Over 50% of the conference attendees were students, and we have grown up seeing that economic values are crucial to the success, or failures, of a nation. Every Republican meeting, dinner, fundraiser, or door knocking campaign I have been on I hear the phrase “young people are the future of this party,” and it appears clear that young people want fiscal conservatism.  It will be interesting to see how this young and refreshing libertarianism attitude grows and spreads over the next year, but given the enthusiasm, passion, and vigor among the youngest and most active members of the Republican Party at CPAC I would say we are in for a transition that will test the way we view our political system.

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Upcoming talk with UConn Professor Luis van Isschot on the evolution of Human Rights using the case of Oil in Colombia

3-4pm, Monday, April 14, 2014
Faculty Lounge, Room 358 Webb Hall
Refreshments will be provided


Luis van Isschot is Assistant Professor of History and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut. For more than a decade he worked internationally supporting human rights advocates in Latin America and elsewhere, mainly with the NGO Peace Brigades International. Dr. Isschot’s research seeks to explain the emergence of human rights as a new paradigm of social protest during the Cold War. In 2008 he was full-time Coordinator of the Life Stories of Montrealers Displaced by War, Genocide and Other Human Rights Violations oral history project. His current book project, The Social Origins of Human Rights: Protesting Political Violence in Colombia’s Oil Capital, 1919-2010, examines why, how, and with what impact, people living in conflcit areas organize collectively to assert human rights. Established by Standard Oil in 1919, the oil enclave of Barrancabermeja has long been a critical battleground in Colombia’s armed conflict. Drawing on interviews, as well as social movement and legal archives, he situates the experiences of frontline activists within broader debates on the history of the international movement for human rights.

For more details contact Dr. Roland Clark (clarkrol@easternct.edu) or Dr. Bradley C. Davis (davisbrad@easternct.edu).

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